Today's Reader Tip: How to Score a Better Hotel Room
Whoever wins our Best Travel Tip Contest will get to spend the final three nights of their seven-night trip to Charleston, S.C., at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island and play a round of golf on its Ocean Course, host to the 2012 PGA Championships.
Got a great travel tip? Share it in our Best Travel Tip Contest and you could win a $15,000 vacation for four that starts with four nights in the historic heart of Charleston and ends with three nights by the sea on Kiawah Island. As inspiration we're sharing some of the best travel tips here as they roll in, and today's words of wisdom come from our friends over at exclusive travel site Indagare:
"When checking into a hotel, don't settle for the first room offered. Seasoned travelers know that there are often more spacious layouts, better views, or recently renovated options, even in the same category and price range. Also, if you don't love what you see in your category, ask about upgrading. If the nicer suites aren't sold out, a hotel might offer one to you for less than rack rate to fill the space. Don't underestimate the power of asking nicely but being persistent."
It's so true, folks. And it's particularly important when you're visiting a foreign country. Many hotels overseas--especially in Europe--tend to give their best rooms to regulars or those who live relatively nearby (since they're perceived as relatively likely to return) and pawn off their worst rooms on foreigners whom they assume don't know any better or will never be back.
And don't forget to make requests (say, for a particular view or floor) even earlier in the process too--at booking time. If you don't make any requests, you'll get whatever rooms are left over after everyone else's requests have been filled.
For more strategies for snagging the best room at the lowest price, see my 25 top travel tips for saving yourself money, time, and headaches. And for more insider tips from membership site Indagare, sign up for its free bi-monthly newsletter.
Last but hardly least, share YOUR best travel tip for the chance to win that 5-star vacation for four. The three nights' accommodation (two rooms) at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, a Condé Nast Traveler Gold List property, includes not only a round of golf on The Ocean Course but also three meals daily at Jasmine Porch and a paddleboard lesson, turtle hunt, or photo safari. Click here to learn about all the additional Charleston activities, meals, and insider-access experiences included in the prize.
Nice spot for relaxing by the sea after four days in historic Charleston, huh?